“If Russia invades Ukraine, one way or another, Nord Stream 2 will not move forward.”- Victoria Nuland on January 27th, 2022. by zyxzevn in quotes

[–]Alan_Crowe 5 insightful - 1 fun5 insightful - 0 fun6 insightful - 1 fun -  (0 children)

If Russia wanted it switched off, well, they already succeeded because it was switched off.

Russia had the option of switching it back on. That gave them leverage over Germany: drop the sanctions and the gas starts flowing again.

America has cancelled Russia's option. A rather valuable option.

You're trapped in the most recent video game you've played. What game are you stuck in and how screwed are you? by Choclate1893Pepsi in AskSaidIt

[–]Alan_Crowe 1 insightful - 2 fun1 insightful - 1 fun2 insightful - 2 fun -  (0 children)

The closed I've been to playing a video game is http://incredible.pm/

Too stupid to solve the puzzles, so very screwed :-(

FUN FACT: the ladies all love tractors by chickenz in whatever

[–]Alan_Crowe 1 insightful - 1 fun1 insightful - 0 fun2 insightful - 1 fun -  (0 children)

This reminds me of The Worzels song "Combine Harvester" https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=btEpF334Rtc

It’s 11pm. I’m watching a Netflix show about Jeffrey Dahmer eating a persons heart. My question is… what would I be watching at this time and of what nature would it be if this was 1972? by Bridgeheadprod in AskSaidIt

[–]Alan_Crowe 1 insightful - 1 fun1 insightful - 0 fun2 insightful - 1 fun -  (0 children)

Back in 1972, if you wanted content like this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YmMCP38Lly8 (Michael Penn giving an introduction to linear algebra: What is a group?)

well, you would have to say up until 2am to catch the Open University broadcast.

Today you have much more choice. Choose wisely!

Where do you think the use of Artificial Intelligence will lead us? by Zapped in AskSaidIt

[–]Alan_Crowe 2 insightful - 1 fun2 insightful - 0 fun3 insightful - 1 fun -  (0 children)

People like to talk about an AI recursively improving itself.

Here is an example of the idea: you write an optimizing compiler for the C computer programming language. You write it in C. Then you compile it with an existing C compiler, such as gcc. Now you have an executable for C. You recompile some of your application programs, and they run faster. That is nice, but your optimizing compiler is slow. So you get it to compile itself. Now it runs faster :-)

The usual ideas about how to write an optimizing compiler are such that if you repeat the process you get no further gains. One alternative idea is that the optimizing compiler searches for optimizations, and it does it the same way that a chess playing program does, with one eye on the clock, so that it abandons the search if it is taking too long. If you follow up this idea, there is a chance that after the first round of self application, the search runs faster, and gets deeper into the search tree, finding new optimizations. Using the compiler to recompile the compiler gives you several rounds of improvement.

This works mysteriously badly. You get tiny improvements that peter out. In 2022 we have no idea how to get recursive self-improvement to take off. Today it is limited to being technobabble for science fiction. But I don't think that we even know where to look for ideas about how to get recursive self-improvement to take off; I don't think that anything will have changed in twenty years time.

I don't have any feel for the far future. I just think that we are heading for a rough patch, where AI's cause disaster by being stupid in surprising new ways. More accurately: humans cause disaster by over-estimating AI and thinking that their is intelligence is more general and more able to cope with the unexpected than it really is.

The latest excitement is doing statistical learning on a large corpus. That is a great way to get excellent results on the central examples in the training data, (the commuter is basically copying humans). But we gravitate towards seeing this as the computer thinking its way through the problem, rather than it having "seen it before" in the sense that it is interpolating the training data. We set ourselves up to to believe that the computer can extrapolate from the training data to overcome new challenges. We know from playing with polynomials that the usual story is that interpolation works just fine, and extrapolation is a disaster. But we ignore that and over estimate the computer.

One further pattern in human behavior is that we love to talk in absolutes: this is possible, that is impossible. John McCarthy noticed that we turn this into an implicit belief that if something is possible, then it should be reasonably easy. I think that doesn't apply to artificial intelligence. We are heading towards a situation in which creating artificial intelligence proves to be too hard for humans in the next say one hundred years, but we cope by pretending and lying and believing our own lies. We put stupid AI's in charge of important things and suffer for because of it. And the underlying error is about dividing into two teams, team NO says AI is impossible, team YES says we've managed to create it. But that division, into YES or NO erases NOT-YET. We forget to guard against AI that looks clever to us, but is actually faking it and is doomed to screw up big time.

Where do you think the use of Artificial Intelligence will lead us? by Zapped in AskSaidIt

[–]Alan_Crowe 2 insightful - 1 fun2 insightful - 0 fun3 insightful - 1 fun -  (0 children)

There's a lot of people in love with AI. They see more intelligence than is actually there. There is a long history of this, starting with people being taken in by Weizenbaum's Eliza.

The danger I see, looking twenty years out, is that AI will be given serious responsibilities that it is not ready for, with tragic consequences.

I think this is baked into our approach. We eyeball the output and tinker. Did the AI convince us, humans in 2022, that it was intelligent? Not entirely. So we tinker some more, optimizing AI for convincing humans that it is intelligent. Is it really intelligent? That is a tough question.

We can see a pattern in human behavior. Here are two examples.

We gravitate towards having the computer write poetry. We know that we look for meaning in obscure poems and congratulate ourselves for finding it. So we know that we are setting ourselves up to find meaning in a computer's poems that isn't there. But we do it anyway, and think that the computer is a poet.

We create a computer psychotherapist and gravitate towards having the computer do non-directive therapy. We know that this involves encouraging the patient to find their own solutions. So we know that we are setting ourselves up to credit the computer with a solution provided by a human. But we do it anyway, and think that people being fooled by Eliza is a computer passing the Turing test.

The most urgent project in "AI safety" is accepting that humans exhibit this weird behavior and developing methods to avoid tricking ourselves into believing in the intelligence of stupid computers.

When Did Progressive Elites Turn against Democracy? Michael Doran and John Fonte appear on Gatekeeper with Israeli historian Gadi Taub to discuss Dr. Fonte’s book Sovereignty or Submission. by Chipit in books

[–]Alan_Crowe 1 insightful - 1 fun1 insightful - 0 fun2 insightful - 1 fun -  (0 children)

Google translate from the Hebrew

John Ponte was the first to notice that an international progressive class targeted not only the nation-state, but also democracy itself. And he does this with the manipulative use of the idea of "human rights". The first buds were seen at the Durban Conference, and it was no coincidence that the Jewish nation-state was one of the first targets. Since then, this elite - they called it mobile - has entrenched itself in international organizations that seek to appropriate the sovereignty of the nation states.

Judge blocked prosecutors from keeping pedophile behind bars until his sentencing hearing. He then killed his ex-girlfriend and police shot him down in a hail of bullets after a car chase. by Chipit in news

[–]Alan_Crowe 3 insightful - 1 fun3 insightful - 0 fun4 insightful - 1 fun -  (0 children)

Blakney was charged last year with second-degree sexual assault of a child for allegedly having sex with a 13-year-old. He pled guilty to the charge last month and was freed on bail by Milwaukee County Circuit Court Judge David Borowski who denied prosecutors motion to keep him in jail.

I thought "bail" was strictly about pre-trial detention, yet the accused had already plead guilty. There is no problem with post-trial detention of the guilty. That is what the trial is supposed to lead up to.

"The truth is a snare: you cannot have it, without being caught. You cannot have the truth in such a way that you catch it, but only in such a way that it catches you." -Soren Kierkegaard. by HibikiBlack in conspiracy

[–]Alan_Crowe 1 insightful - 1 fun1 insightful - 0 fun2 insightful - 1 fun -  (0 children)

Kierkegaard had somewhat contradicting ideas when it comes to truth.

Is the problem that he only had one word for two different concepts?

When he speaks of getting caught by truth, perhaps he has in mind universal and uncomfortable truths. For example, the second law of thermodynamics. You might be an engineer with dreams of building a heat engine that is 90% efficient. You learn the truth :-( With realistic temperature differences you are never going to break 40% efficiency. And maybe that costs you your job because your boss still wants you to design a 90% efficient engine and gets angry when you tell him that it is impossible. The same cast of mind that lets you design a heat engine at all, makes you unable to escape the logic of thermodynamic limit. You are as much caught by the truth as the catcher of it.

But people have their own personal truths. I cannot handle chili heat wave Doritos. If I buy them at all, I eat them greedily and get fat. But that might not be your truth. Enjoy them if you can. Is my truth an "objective truth"? My bathroom scales quantify my weight gain in kilograms; it doesn't get much more objective than that. But one still feels that this truth is too bound to an individual, too contingent, to count as Truth with a capital T. Perhaps Kierkegaard talks of ones own truth in a religious context. What does Mr A believe? Does that inspire Mr B as much? More? Not at all? It is bad to embark on a pilgrimage and give up half way through. It is important for the person planning the journey to know the depth of their own faith. But this too is bound to an individual and not truth with a capital T.

If we did not have the word "truth", but sometimes talked of "the will of the universe" and other times talked of "first person knowledge", might certain contradictions just vanish?

"We cannot live with 15,000 deaths a week": WHO warns on rise in COVID fatalities by TheRealPanzer in Coronavirus

[–]Alan_Crowe 1 insightful - 1 fun1 insightful - 0 fun2 insightful - 1 fun -  (0 children)

Global population is around seven billion 7000000000.

Life expectancy is traditionally seventy years, 70.

Dividing, we expect about a hundred million deaths every year. With fifty weeks a year, that is two million a week.

Which makes me wonder. Is 15000 a week just badge engineering. Old people are seldom said to die "of old age". There is a straw that breaks the camels back and ends up on the death certificate. It doesn't require much to gin up 15000 COVID deaths from two million, don't say "just old" deaths.

Death Row murderer suffered 'hours of pain' in 'longest execution in US history' by HongKongPhooey in news

[–]Alan_Crowe 1 insightful - 2 fun1 insightful - 1 fun2 insightful - 2 fun -  (0 children)

Alcohol (ethanol) would do. It would need a intravenous infusion bag full of the stuff, a syringe full wouldn't do it. But it would work, and every execution would send a useful public health message to young men about binge drinking and alcohol poisoning.

Lebanese Man who robbed bank to get his own money back hailed national hero by Drewski in WorldNews

[–]Alan_Crowe 1 insightful - 1 fun1 insightful - 0 fun2 insightful - 1 fun -  (0 children)

Man who robbed bank to get "his own" money back ...

That is not how fractional reserve banking works. Suppose the reserve ration is 20%. You deposit $100 with the bank. Then it is entitled to lend out $80 of newly created money, while still recording your bank balance as $100.

In the ideal case, the $80 is paid back with interest, say $10. Then you withdraw your $100. That leaves the banker with $10 of revenue.

But the money lent out might be lost. Suppose the borrower becomes bankrupt and the bank only recovers $40. You try to withdraw your $100, but the bank only has $60. The bank itself becomes bankrupt. You discover that technically you lent the bank your $100. Now you are a creditor of the bankrupt bank and can expect to eventually recover 60 cents on the dollar.

People say "As safe as money in the bank" implying that money in the bank is safe. This has always been a lie, intended to conceal the fact that you making a loan to the bank, which you risk losing if the bank fails.

Now-a-days retail bank deposits are covered by government guarantees. Some of your money is covered, but only to the extent that you are relying on the government to remain solvent, not the bank. That doesn't help in Lebanon.

Kissing numbers: Surprises in Dimension Four by GeorgeCarlin in Mathematics

[–]Alan_Crowe 1 insightful - 1 fun1 insightful - 0 fun2 insightful - 1 fun -  (0 children)

An interesting article. And a little frustrating. The upper bounds are hard. How do we know that you cannot fit 25 balls around a ball in 4 dimensional space? That is the tricky side of the proof, best left to professional mathematicians. How do we know that you can fit 24 balls around a ball in 4 dimensional space? Well, the article could give locations for the centers of the balls and readers could use Pythagoras' theorem to check the distances.

In two dimensions, the center ball is at the origin, (0,0) and the six surrounding balls are at (1,0), (1/2, √3/2), (-1/2, √3/2), (1/2, -√3/2), (-1/2, √3/2). Since it is past my bed time, I'm not going to check that I've got that right.

The article says how to do it in 3D dimensions: use an icosahedron. That doesn't sound right, an icosahedron has twenty faces. Perhaps they mean dodecahedron, the one with twelve faces? No, they were right with icosahedron, because it has twelve corners, top, bottom and two rings of five. I could come up with the coordinates in three or four hours :-)

But four dimensions? They give a drawing of a four cell in the article. But it is a two dimensional drawing of a four dimensional shape, so just the four dimensional shape projected to create an incomprehensible mess of lines.

Wait, I think https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/24-cell gives the game away

8 vertices obtained by permuting the integer coordinates:

(±1, 0, 0, 0)

and 16 vertices with half-integer coordinates of the form:

(±1/2, ±1/2, ±1/2, ±1/2)

I'll have to think about that tomorrow.

"The more silent you get, the more you hear." (unknown) by GeorgeCarlin in quotes

[–]Alan_Crowe 2 insightful - 1 fun2 insightful - 0 fun3 insightful - 1 fun -  (0 children)

Ask awkward questions. Listen to the awkward silence.

Gun control for dummies by TheRealPanzer in politics

[–]Alan_Crowe 3 insightful - 2 fun3 insightful - 1 fun4 insightful - 2 fun -  (0 children)

Needs a corrupt politician with no gun in either panel, and a corrupt cop, protecting the corrupt politician, with a gun in both panels.

How many friends do you think yelgy and yabbit have, combined? by Melodic_Programmer in AskSaidIt

[–]Alan_Crowe 2 insightful - 2 fun2 insightful - 1 fun3 insightful - 2 fun -  (0 children)

That is cruel. They have each other*, so at least one.

  • provided they are different people.

This happened 53 years ago today by [deleted] in whatever

[–]Alan_Crowe 2 insightful - 1 fun2 insightful - 0 fun3 insightful - 1 fun -  (0 children)

I don't think that Apollo 1 went as well as you remember.

Trans men living the stunning and brave life by jet199 in neovaginadisasters

[–]Alan_Crowe 1 insightful - 1 fun1 insightful - 0 fun2 insightful - 1 fun -  (0 children)

The female to male operation is enormously complicated. I remember a case when the woman suffered damage to her legs. How did that happen? Well, the operation took six hours, and that means that you have to be careful about loss of circulation and tissue damage, just from being anesthetized for that long. It is such a super-major surgery that problems are inevitable.

Why does this hippie make sense? by Canbot in whatever

[–]Alan_Crowe 1 insightful - 1 fun1 insightful - 0 fun2 insightful - 1 fun -  (0 children)

She didn't mention how extremely long and thin the time sausage is. 2000000000 seconds long, 1.5 nanosecond wide, 0.75 nanoseconds deep, 2 nanoseconds tall.

The Biggest Lie of WWII? The Myth of the Norden Bombsight by Alan_Crowe in propaganda

[–]Alan_Crowe[S] 1 insightful - 1 fun1 insightful - 0 fun2 insightful - 1 fun -  (0 children)

The video spends about ten minutes telling the technological backstory. I was more struck by the second half of the video, which talks about the myth making and the propaganda. It resonated with today's media environment, where truth doesn't have to be censored because the mainstream media can ignore it, push their own story hard, and win by repetition and volume.

Recommendation: Learn statistics by platonic1 in conspiracy

[–]Alan_Crowe 3 insightful - 2 fun3 insightful - 1 fun4 insightful - 2 fun -  (0 children)

Learning statistics is hard.

It is probably worth learning some computer programing first. Then you can write code to generate synthetic data. And more code to analyze it. For example, generate some data from a distribution with a known mean. Average your data to estimate the mean. Notice that your average still wobbles about a bit, less than the data, less still if you generate lots of synthetic data points.

When your statistics book starts talking about the variance of an estimator, you've already seen it when you played with your short computer programs. The text book author is talking about the way the average still wobbles a bit, even with lots of data. But you've seen what he is on about, so it is easier to understand.

Michael Moore Calls for Full Repeal of Second Amendment -- 'You Don’t Need a Gun' by StillLessons in politics

[–]Alan_Crowe 2 insightful - 1 fun2 insightful - 0 fun3 insightful - 1 fun -  (0 children)

Once gun rights go, they are not coming back. So Michael Moore needs to be arguing "You don't need a gun, your children don't need a gun, your grandchildren don't need a gun,..." re-iterating his basic claim into an uncertain future.

Do governments go bad and massacre their citizens? Since governments never give gun rights back, you need to be confident about your government far into the future, not just today.

“All truth passes through three stages. First, it is ridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed. Third, it is accepted as being self-evident.” - Arthur Schopenhauer by Optimus85 in quotes

[–]Alan_Crowe 1 insightful - 2 fun1 insightful - 1 fun2 insightful - 2 fun -  (0 children)

A falsehood gets treated differently. First, it is ridiculed. Second, conservatives oppose it weakly for a decade. Third, it is accepted as being self-evident.

Why I left the left : The egalitarian, pro-worker left is gone and it’s not coming back. by question-the-garlic in whatever

[–]Alan_Crowe 2 insightful - 1 fun2 insightful - 0 fun3 insightful - 1 fun -  (0 children)

This made me go back to 2013 and reread Exiting the vampire castle, the controversial lament by Mark Fisher.

The older piece turned out to be very British, with a lengthy section on how the left disliked Russel Brand because he was working class. The way it is supposed to work in Britbongistan is that upper class socialists rescue working class oiks from their false consciousness, in a class version of the Mighty Whitey trope.

The older piece has a recurring theme

We need to learn, or re-learn, how to build comradeship and solidarity instead of doing capital’s work for it by condemning and abusing each other.

as though capitalists had somehow managed to contrive wokeness as a defense of capitalism.

Megan Murphy has a different take

Meetings were often held hostage by narcissists who wished to make everything about their various afflictions and ‘trauma’, and who were willing to tear the group apart, seemingly just to test their power.

that the left are doing this to themselves.

I like to eavesdrop on alt-right websites. I think that the vibe evoked by the sight of the left eating itself is a kind of terrified astonishment. There is a little bit of delight at the misfortunes of ideological enemies, but with an undercurrent of fear. What if this is what humans are really like? We are human too, perhaps it will be our turn next.

should we lower the drinking age? by yelgy in AskSaidIt

[–]Alan_Crowe 1 insightful - 1 fun1 insightful - 0 fun2 insightful - 1 fun -  (0 children)

I feel pretty conflicted.

On the one hand, I'm tee-total and look back on my drinking with regret. That is weird because I was never a problem drinker. I got involved with a Buddhist sect, stopped drinking for religious reasons and then noticed that drinking alcohol was stupid and always had been.

On the other hand, prohibition was tried and failed. It failed in practice. I think that prohibiting private vices also fails in theory. We might say that the seller of alcohol is the criminal and the buyer of alcohol is the victim, but we must remember the difference between vice and crime. The victim of a crime goes to the police to complain. And if the policeman takes a bribe from the perpetrator to ignore the crime, the victim complains harder. The "victim" of a vice colludes with the perpetrator to hide the "crime" from the police and if a vigorous and nosy policeman accepts a bribe to ignore the infraction, the victim is annoyed at the cost, but keeps quiet and plays along.

On the gripping hand, why did I drink alcohol? Because of late capitalism! If businesses make a profit selling something, they will advertise it. They will buy product placements if that is permitted. But if the something is a bad rather than a good nothing changes. There is no money to be made not selling something, so there is no anti-advertising, warning stupid young people (earlier me) against faith in what the TV shows me.

So I want to reframe the whole discussion. We would like young people to be free. Free to drink. Free to stay sober. But freedom is not available in our current framing. Either we have bossy laws, restricting freedom. Or we are hypnotized by late capitalist advertising and get drunk, without realizing that we didn't chose it ourselves.

Prohibiting public vices is very different from prohibiting private vices. The police don't have to pry and intrude. They just patrol public spaces as usual, prosecuting vices that are in their faces. If somebody does the same thing privately, and get found out, the police just shrug. Doing it in private is allowed.

We could declare that advertising alcohol is a public vice and prohibit that. Private advertising, if it exists at all, has a small reach; we just don't care about it. We might go a little further and change the first amendment so that glamorizing alcohol in mass media can be forbidden. Then lower the drinking age to 16 so that it is only a child-protection measure.

We don't have the police prying into peoples private lives, because nothing private is being forbidden. Young people who don't want to drink aren't being priggishly obedient to bossy law. Young people who don't want to drink do get pushed to do so by peer pressure, but that is a lot less pressure than having advertising, culture, and your brainwashed peers ganging up on you.

It would be a trade-off. More personal freedom, less commercial freedom. But over-all, a good trade.

Kids just can't act natural by Canbot in Blueeyes

[–]Alan_Crowe 1 insightful - 1 fun1 insightful - 0 fun2 insightful - 1 fun -  (0 children)

At least she has a cool niece, she should be content with that.

Researchers found out that sugar is more addictive than opioid drugs such as cocaine, and that there can be withdrawal symptoms such as depression and behavioural problems when people try cutting out sugar completely. by TheRealPanzer in Drugs

[–]Alan_Crowe 1 insightful - 1 fun1 insightful - 0 fun2 insightful - 1 fun -  (0 children)

The article needs to be illustrated with a cartoon rat complaining about his disappointment

I was really looking forward to trying cocaine, because humans really love it. What a let down. Sure it is nice, but like sugar is nice. Nothing special. I don't think that humans are a good primate model for the urgent health issues faced by rat-kind.

The end of Roe vs Wade will remake the sexual revolution by jet199 in OpinionPieces

[–]Alan_Crowe 1 insightful - 1 fun1 insightful - 0 fun2 insightful - 1 fun -  (0 children)

The article underplays the role of federalism. The states that are fully on board with the sexual revolution will permit abortion and nothing will change internally. The states that were split, with many resisting the sexual revolution will have that split move up the political agenda. Some of them will outlaw abortion and then stick to their prohibition.

Yes, that will remake the sexual revolution, in those states. States that were reluctant. Interesting times indeed, but most Americans will be watching the action from a fuck-as-usual state.

Keep Spreading Truth by Rastafoo in memes

[–]Alan_Crowe 1 insightful - 1 fun1 insightful - 0 fun2 insightful - 1 fun -  (0 children)

TIL :-(

That is disturbing.

Bloomberg columnist explains why gun control research is worthless. "These glaring methodological flaws are not specific to gun control research; they are typical of how the academic publishing industry responds to demands from political partisans for scientific evidence that does not exist." by Chipit in science

[–]Alan_Crowe 1 insightful - 1 fun1 insightful - 0 fun2 insightful - 1 fun -  (0 children)

There is something interesting going on around penalties. We could pass gun control laws that were recommendations, with no penalties for breaking them. We take it for granted that that would be silly; of course there have to be penalties. Serious penalties, such as long jail sentences.

The phrase "hired gun" has both a literal meaning and a metaphorical meaning. Metaphorically, we call a scientist a "hired gun" when he rigs his research to ensure the it reaches the conclusion that his funder is paying for. That is wrong. In a different world that might be penalties for doing that; serious penalties, with bad scientists going to jail. Curiously, we take it for granted that "science control" works on an honour system. No matter how dishonourable a scientists research conduct, he never gets punished for it.

More curious still, we take it for granted that the quality of scientific research remains high. Sure, there monetary rewards for being a hired gun, and no penalties for this form of corruption, yet we take it for granted that penalties are not necessary for people who create fake research. Simultaneously, we take it for granted that there are penalties for breaking the laws that got passed based on that fake research.

My guess is that scientists still have status, left over from the nineteenth century, when scientists were gentlemen amateurs.

Teilhard de Chardin and his relation with executive-secretary of UNESCO Julian Huxley. Evolution and Darwinism. (X-post from s/Jesuits) by HibikiBlack in conspiracy

[–]Alan_Crowe 1 insightful - 1 fun1 insightful - 0 fun2 insightful - 1 fun -  (0 children)

But egregores are, if they exist, psychic or supernatural, not computer bits and not cultures.

My ontology is limited; I admit no psychic entities, nor any supernatural ones. So just reductionist, mechanistic, materialism? Err, there is a problem. The kinetic theory of gases explains pressure as due to molecules rushing about, bumping into things. That explains gas pressure, but does it explain it away? If you want to design a steam engine, you need to do your design calculations in terms of the concept of pressure. Trajectories of molecules have way too much irrelevant detail. So macroscopic thermodynamic properties, such as pressure and temperature, have micro-foundations. They are both justified by their micro-foundations and undermined by them. I think of them as second tier real. We know that they are not the ultimate reality, and we also know that they are real enough for many of our purposes. Can you help me out here with the official philosophical jargon for this?

Pressing on, I accept that egregores are traditionally understood as psychic or supernatural. That makes me sad. Since I reject the psychic and the supernatural, I believe that that traditional understanding wastes a good word by yoking it to the supernatural, which doesn't actually exist. So I want to re-use the word egregore to denote an aspect of culture that is second tier real.

I see culture as very complicated. To get any insight into what is going on requires an expanded vocabulary, so that subtle differences can be picked apart. For example, this business is just a business, with employees who work there. That business is a egregore and has followers.

To flesh this out, think about agency problems. Business A needs to purchase an X. Business B quotes high for supplying an X, while business C quotes low. Fred works for Business A and rigs the requirements for the X so that Business A buys from Business B. Expensive. Very profitable for Business B. Then Fred resigns from Business A and gets a shiny new job with Business B. A quid pro quo? Corruption? Did Fred just use Business A's money to purchase a sinecure at Business B?

This is the usual situation in business. The business employs people who are individuals with individual agency and who play the game to their personal advantage. The usual situation, but not the only situation. Sometimes a business has a company culture that commands loyalty. If Business A had a culture that molded Fred into being a company man, he would have accepted the cheaper quote from Business C, boosting the profits of Business A and continued to work there.

I want to say: in the first case, it is just a business. In the second case, there is an egregore, and Fred is one of the egregores followers. But the second situation lasts thirty years or sixty years (some number of years); the egregore gets old and dies. Then the business is just an ordinary business and, in time it gets looted and fails.

So, I'm just not seeing it, and certainly not seeing it above culture.

I'm happy to agree to that, not above culture. My controversial stance is that culture is very complicated. Sometimes the individual people have agency, and culture is just shrug lots of details of people interacting; the kind of thing Neumann and Morgenstern talk about. Other times, there is weird stuff going on, with people surrendering their agency and being part of a collective. Call it an egregore. Maybe that is a poor choice of name, but the underlying concept needs a name. Any suggestions?

I don't think you can say humans have co-evolved along side Christianity.

Fair enough. I was over-specific there. But I still think there is something interesting going on. Think about early humans leading lives dominated by tribal warfare. There is jockeying for position going on within each tribe. Suppose the battle with the neighboring tribe is a draw. Each tribesman is hoping to survive the battle to return to his village to shag the widow of one of the fallen. But too much of that cynical lack of solidarity and the tribe loses the battle. All the men are slaughtered in the rout. A conquering hero from the other tribe makes off with both men's widows.

If the tribal warfare is brutal enough, the mountain of skulls high enough, and the river of blood deep enough, group selection actually works. Humans evolve to surrender their agency to the collective, fighting bravely in the front line of battle. I speculate that there is an evolved biological basis to people surrendering their agency and becoming followers of an egregore.

Teilhard de Chardin and his relation with executive-secretary of UNESCO Julian Huxley. Evolution and Darwinism. (X-post from s/Jesuits) by HibikiBlack in conspiracy

[–]Alan_Crowe 1 insightful - 1 fun1 insightful - 0 fun2 insightful - 1 fun -  (0 children)

Thank you for that forthright comment. I found it clarifying.

The idea of the Noosphere is important, but I understand it as a mechanistic, materialist phenomenon. For example, once you network computers, you run the risk of your computer network supporting a worm or even a virus. Ultimately a computer virus is just bits, but if humans want to understand why their network has slowed down, then the humans are going to have to take a zoomed-out, approximate view, that sees the computer virus as an organism that is reproducing.

And something similar happens when you "network" humans, letting them exchange and store data with books and pamphlets. The humans end up supporting cults and religions. Ultimately, these ideas can be viewed from a reductionist perspective; they are just marks on paper. But that perspective has too much detail for humans to understand why, for example, their son has run away to join the Moonies. One has to take a zoomed-out, approximate view, in which a cult is enough like an organism for the analogy to help us understand how it "grows".

So I want to talk about this stuff. But I should steer clear of the word "Noosphere" and avoid linking what I want to talk about with Teilhard de Chardin, because, well, you put the reason why bluntly: "He had bad ideas."

Teilhard de Chardin and his relation with executive-secretary of UNESCO Julian Huxley. Evolution and Darwinism. (X-post from s/Jesuits) by HibikiBlack in conspiracy

[–]Alan_Crowe 1 insightful - 1 fun1 insightful - 0 fun2 insightful - 1 fun -  (0 children)

Teilhard also posited the emergence of a new realm on earth in addition to the lithosphere (rocks), the atmosphere (the air), the hydrosphere (the oceans) and biosphere (life forms); he called it the noosphere—the interconnected realm of the human mind.

The biosphere is populated. We most notice the charismatic mega fauna: lions, bears, gorillas, humans. But what creatures populate the Noosphere? I suspect Teilhard was content with humans poking their heads into Noosphere and finding that they were the only occupants.

I think it makes more sense to see the Noosphere as having a native population of creatures of pure information. The closest existing name that we might use for such creatures is "Egregores". Yes, humans have a foot in both realms; both being mammals in the biosphere and participating in the Noosphere, but they have difficulty maintaining their individuality. Humans who participate in the Noosphere are often consumed by it. Those who work for IBM become IBMers. Many companies mold their employees, to the extent that the top managers are company men, sacrificing themselves for the company, as though the company were the organism and the men merely body parts. Religions are striking examples of egregores. Perhaps it is better to say that the religious doctrine is the egregore. The churches are important, but at the end of the day they are just buildings.

The most interesting part is the symbiosis between the egregores and the humans. We notice that human fertility has fallen with the decline of the Christian religion. Viewing Christianity as an egregore, we notice that it needs humans to give it an organic substrate. But humans have co-evolved with Christianity. Humans need it to help them reproduce. Without it, they are content with recreational sex and their numbers decline. Poison the Noosphere to kill the egregore and you deprive the mammals of their symbiote and kill them too.

14 year non-rule-breaking user of Reddit, now a shadow banned refugee, with my subreddits banned, and my comments manipulated by Administrators (this is wide spread!) by SoCo in Introductions

[–]Alan_Crowe 16 insightful - 4 fun16 insightful - 3 fun17 insightful - 4 fun -  (0 children)

Congratulations on escaping Reddit.

Is this just disingenuous virtue signaling, or does she actually believe the ideology she preaches? by CleverFoolOfEarth in SocialJusticeInAction

[–]Alan_Crowe 3 insightful - 4 fun3 insightful - 3 fun4 insightful - 4 fun -  (0 children)

She is over complicating it. My edit

I think that Will Smith shoul- wait. Maybe I don't need to have an opinion on a publicity stunt. Maybe I should just shut up.

Shorter, crisper, better :-)

Without calculus, can we prove sin x = x - x³/3! + x⁵/5! -...? by Alan_Crowe in Mathematics

[–]Alan_Crowe[S] 3 insightful - 2 fun3 insightful - 1 fun4 insightful - 2 fun -  (0 children)

This video does amazing things with involutes, working in an "applied maths"/"19th Century non-rigorous style".

Vaccine Fanaticism Fuels Vaccine Skepticism ⋆ Kulldorf, Battarchaya by Jackalope in politics

[–]Alan_Crowe 2 insightful - 1 fun2 insightful - 0 fun3 insightful - 1 fun -  (0 children)

A good article, but it left me with a melancholy feeling that reminded me of Andrew Gelman's famous article https://statmodeling.stat.columbia.edu/2016/09/21/what-has-happened-down-here-is-the-winds-have-changed/

Gelman is talking about the replication crisis in psychology. It happened slowly at first, then suddenly. Some were left behind when the metaphorical wind changed.

Something of the same slowly at first, then suddenly, has happened with, err, what exactly? The article has its own take on the problem

With a life-saving vaccine during a major pandemic, one would expect more vaccine enthusiasm, but instead, it collapsed. What happened?

My take is that medicine has been getting more and more corrupt. Slowly at first, then suddenly, with aducanumab and then messenger RNA vaccines. The new messenger RNA vaccines have fallen well short of traditional standards of safety and efficiency. But there is money to be made, so they were first approved, and then mandated.

The authors, Jayanta Bhattacharya and Martin Kulldorff, have found themselves left behind in the old world, where public health was the domain of boring policy wonks. Don't pay much, but it is honest work. So they end on an uncynical note, untainted by Public Choice Theory

Trust in vaccines can only be regained through honest, open dialogue, science-based policies, public education, long-term thinking, a strengthened vaccine safety monitoring system, and voluntary vaccinations. That is, it should return to the traditional principles of public health.

What happened to the incentives? If the incentives favour further deviations from the traditional principles of public health, then that is what we will get. Which is distinct from what we should get. I claim that my cynical take on how the world really works is more realistic.

TIL Steve Jobs died of an easily treatable form of pancreatic cancer because he though eating a fruit only diet would cure him by yabbit in TIL

[–]Alan_Crowe 5 insightful - 2 fun5 insightful - 1 fun6 insightful - 2 fun -  (0 children)

"treat" or "cure"? I vaguely remembered that survival times for pancreatic cancer were around 5 years, even with the best care.

Just doing a search for "Whipple procedure" (I remembered the name of the surgery :) gets links to descriptions of the operation. I needed to change my search term to "survival time after whipple procedure" before I found a link

Considering this, what is the average life expectancy after a Whipple procedure?

Without surgery, average life expectancy after diagnosis is about one year. Following surgery, with careful monitoring and follow-up, life expectancy may exceed two years.

Whoops! Be Steve Jobs, super rich master of the universal. Get pancreatic cancer. Get reminded of Bible verse

I returned, and saw under the sun, that the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, neither yet bread to the wise, nor yet riches to men of understanding, nor yet favour to men of skill; but time and chance happeneth to them all.

Chance happeneth! Fuck that, lose mind :-(

When someone tells you what they are, believe them by jet199 in Entertainment

[–]Alan_Crowe 1 insightful - 2 fun1 insightful - 1 fun2 insightful - 2 fun -  (0 children)

“When someone shows you who they are, believe them the first time.” ~Maya Angelou


Putting aside emotions, why should we reject the possibility of spirits wholesale? by platonic1 in conspiracy

[–]Alan_Crowe 3 insightful - 1 fun3 insightful - 0 fun4 insightful - 1 fun -  (0 children)

I disagree with the disparagement of shamans. Take a look at this video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MUJmKl7QfDU

The weight bobs up and down on the spring. Then a ghost comes in from the left and pushes it to the side. The point of the video is to talk about a mechanistic, materialist explanation of this: it is an example of auto parametric resonance. But the video doesn't actually go through the mathematics. I cannot fill in the mathematical details myself. I doubt that you can do so either. So we just take it on trust that the stuff about a ghost coming in and pushing it sideways is not actually correct.

Notice that scientific knowledge is often hard won and so difficult to understand that only a few people know for themselves that it actually makes sense. Believing in a spirit world makes a lot of sense. More so in the past than the present. One might even claim that the time for believing in the spirit world has passed. But it always represented a reasonable attempt to understand the world.

This is so stupid. I love it. by CleverFoolOfEarth in memes

[–]Alan_Crowe 3 insightful - 3 fun3 insightful - 2 fun4 insightful - 3 fun -  (0 children)

The British Broadcasting Corporation showing news about Big Black Cock.

Uncivil Society: 1989 and the Implosion of the Communist Establishment (Stephen Kotkin) • The Worthy House by Chipit in books

[–]Alan_Crowe 3 insightful - 1 fun3 insightful - 0 fun4 insightful - 1 fun -  (0 children)

I enjoyed this opinionated book review. The reviewers thesis is that the author, in telling us how it went down in Eastern Europe in 1989, is accidentally telling us about our near future.

The book being reviewed draws a contrast between East Germany and Romania, on the one hand, and Poland on the other. In East Germany and Romania, there was no covert, alternative power structure. The regimes fell, all by themselves, through internal exhaustion. Poland was different; the Solidarity Trade Union and the Catholic Church offered some push back against the regime.

The review envisages a collapse in the style of East Germany or Romania. But I think he is calling it thirty years too soon. The left in the USA isn't disillusioned with Leftism yet. It will take a generation of economic failure for that to happen.

Why the "insightful" and "fun" votes? I am new and I immediately dislike them. by [deleted] in SaidIt

[–]Alan_Crowe 5 insightful - 1 fun5 insightful - 0 fun6 insightful - 1 fun -  (0 children)

The front page has tabs for hot, new, insightful, fun, top,...

Go try them; they don't do what I want. I want

hot - recent ranked on a weighted sum of insightful and fun

insightful - recent ranked on insightful

fun - recent ranked on fun

That way, I can choose according to my mood, serious or frivolous. But insightful and fun are long term, showing me posts from a year ago :-(

The Pyramid of Capitalism by chottohen in offbeat

[–]Alan_Crowe 2 insightful - 2 fun2 insightful - 1 fun3 insightful - 2 fun -  (0 children)

That is a fine example of life coming at you fast. Up until 1917 it is an inspiring anti-capitalist poster. Then history in Russia speeds up. 1921 brings the Kronstadt Rebellion. People are noticing what revolutions really do: meet the new boss, same as the old boss. Well, not exactly the same, but the middle layer "We shoot at you" never changes, and the post gains a new and ironic layer of meaning.

The Theology of Marxism. Most people think of Marxism as an economic theory or, perhaps, a social theory. This isn’t sufficient. Marxism, strange as it may sound, is a theology, the basis for a religion. by Chipit in politics

[–]Alan_Crowe 1 insightful - 1 fun1 insightful - 0 fun2 insightful - 1 fun -  (0 children)

I've listened for twelve minutes and he is still in the name dropping and chit-chat phase of his three hours.

I stuck it out for twelve minutes because I find this a fascinating topic and asked r/neology for a word for the thing for which communism and Islam are equally paradigmatic examples

"Clitorises are small penises and penises are large clitorises"? by [deleted] in GenderCritical

[–]Alan_Crowe 2 insightful - 1 fun2 insightful - 0 fun3 insightful - 1 fun -  (0 children)

The biological jargon is that the structures are homologous. Which is about embryology, not adults.

Has the Bell Curve ruined anyone elses enjoyment of life? by radicalcentrist in debatealtright

[–]Alan_Crowe 1 insightful - 1 fun1 insightful - 0 fun2 insightful - 1 fun -  (0 children)

There is a better word/phrase than team spirit : Asabiyyah

Medicine's Last Stand? by rubberbiscuit in Health

[–]Alan_Crowe 1 insightful - 1 fun1 insightful - 0 fun2 insightful - 1 fun -  (0 children)

They managed to completely waste the first minute, so I bailed before finding out what the video was about.

Non-violent resistance only works if the empire has already decided to leave by platonic1 in whatever

[–]Alan_Crowe 3 insightful - 1 fun3 insightful - 0 fun4 insightful - 1 fun -  (0 children)

There is an uncomfortable question about whether any of the colonies were ever "profitable".

On first glance the calculation seems to be: (money extracted) - (cost of occupation). If that is positive, then the colony is "profitable".

But back in 1816 Ricardo that trade was more profitable than previously believed. Even if Brits were better than Indians at everything, there is still scope for mutually beneficial trade, based on comparative advantage. So there is no need for occupying a colony at all. Just split the gains from trade fairly and the other folk will trade voluntarily, just to get their share of the gains from trade.

So the criterion for a colony being profitable is actually

(money extracted) - (cost of occupation) > (fair share of profit from free trade)

That is not an easy test to pass. Once you start trying to extract more money, to meet the test, the natives rebel and the cost of occupation soars.

Has the Bell Curve ruined anyone elses enjoyment of life? by radicalcentrist in debatealtright

[–]Alan_Crowe 1 insightful - 1 fun1 insightful - 0 fun2 insightful - 1 fun -  (0 children)

There is a man-versus-nature story: drain swamps, irrigate deserts, cure diseases.

And there is a man-versus-man story: fight, steal, cheat, subvert.

Intelligence is multi-purpose. Does high IQ get you Switzerland or Lebanon? There is an extra quality, of being pro-social and cooperative. Call it team spirit. Whether increasing IQ makes a society better or worse depends on the level of team spirit. With little team spirit, high IQ leads to more devious betrayal, and more accurately timed back stabbing. With high levels of team spirit, high IQ boosts cooperation because people see better how to do it, and counters the problems of too much team spirit (group think, purity spirals, doing it our way rather than a good way)

100 Years of Turbulence: how the Wright brother's patents held back aviation in the USA by Alan_Crowe in technology

[–]Alan_Crowe[S] 3 insightful - 1 fun3 insightful - 0 fun4 insightful - 1 fun -  (0 children)

Patent thickets are a current problem for technology innovators. This article looks back; patent laws have always had an ambiguous effect on technology.

“The simple and terrifying reality, forbidden from discussion in America, was that despite spending $600 billion a year on the military... they were getting their asses kicked by illiterate peasants who made bombs out of manure and wood.” Michael Hastings by EndlessSunflowers in quotes

[–]Alan_Crowe 4 insightful - 2 fun4 insightful - 1 fun5 insightful - 2 fun -  (0 children)

... despite spending $600 billion a year on the military ...

"Despite" or "due to"? The point of a war is to channel tax payers' money to the politically well connected. Winning results in winding down the expenditure. You cannot win, there is too much money at stake.

Professor Sir Timothy Gowers' 2012 lecture: Hilbert's Dream by Alan_Crowe in Mathematics

[–]Alan_Crowe[S] 1 insightful - 1 fun1 insightful - 0 fun2 insightful - 1 fun -  (0 children)

The talk starts with David Hilbert's notion of mechanising mathematics. After briefly reviewing why this is a lost cause, Tim turns to a much weaker notion of "mechanisation". Can we write computer programs that have "flashes" of genius? Tim gives some nice examples of minor flashes of genius that might actually be discoverable by systematic methods. And he spills the beans on how mathematicians hide their tracks to make their talents appear more mysterious than they really are.

The truth about Thunberg by CleverFoolOfEarth in funny

[–]Alan_Crowe 3 insightful - 1 fun3 insightful - 0 fun4 insightful - 1 fun -  (0 children)

Me too. I'm old and not keeping up, so I thought that Jimmy Savile and the BBC was a one-off. I didn't make the CNN/under-18 connection at first.

"National boundaries are not evident when we view the earth from space. Fanatic ethnic or religious or national identifications are a little difficult to support when we see our planet as a fragile blue crescent, fading to become an inconspicuous point of light..." Carl Sagan by EndlessSunflowers in quotes

[–]Alan_Crowe 1 insightful - 1 fun1 insightful - 0 fun2 insightful - 1 fun -  (0 children)

Carl seems to be trying to understand national boundaries by going far enough away that he cannot see them. A bold strategy :-)

Why Religions Fail by fschmidt in nonmorons

[–]Alan_Crowe 1 insightful - 1 fun1 insightful - 0 fun2 insightful - 1 fun -  (0 children)

That reminds me that understanding of hereditary came shockingly late (I keep forgetting this). There is a book

Like Engend'ring Like: Heredity and Animal Breeding in Early Modern England

by Nicholas Russell

that goes into the history, with the basics emerging in the 17th and 18th century. I feel that I ought to read it, to understand the intellectual history, but I haven't even bought a copy yet.

Why Religions Fail by fschmidt in nonmorons

[–]Alan_Crowe 1 insightful - 2 fun1 insightful - 1 fun2 insightful - 2 fun -  (0 children)

When it started, Christians thought that the end would come soon. No need to worry about eugenics.

That attitude "No need to worry about eugenics." persisted. Along comes priestly celibacy as a counter to nepotism. Nobody worries about it being dysgenic. But centuries later there is problem: the intense piety of the priest has been bred out of the population in Catholic countries.

Enraged monkeys kill 250 DOGS by dragging them to the top of buildings and dropping them off 'out of revenge' after pups killed one of their infants in Indian village by Chipit in WorldNews

[–]Alan_Crowe 2 insightful - 1 fun2 insightful - 0 fun3 insightful - 1 fun -  (0 children)

Searching Times of India dogs monkeys gets me a different story


By: Udaya Kumar

SHIVAMOGGA: More than 100 stray dogs were allegedly poisoned and buried in a village off Bhadravati taluk in Shivamogga

district, and police have booked a case against jurisdictional gram panchayat officers in the case.

The incident comes barely weeks after 150 monkeys were killed and abandoned in a village in Hassan district, drawing attention of the Karnataka high court which sought action against the miscreants.

The latest incident involving dogs took place in Ranganathapura of Kambadalalu-Hosur grama panchayat in Bhadravati taluk, about 270km from Bengaluru, on Monday.

Acting on a tipoff from villagers who sensed something amiss, members of Shivamogga Animal Rescue Club visited the place on Tuesday evening and removed the carcasses with help from veterinarians and cops.


Enraged monkeys kill 250 DOGS by dragging them to the top of buildings and dropping them off 'out of revenge' after pups killed one of their infants in Indian village by Chipit in WorldNews

[–]Alan_Crowe 2 insightful - 1 fun2 insightful - 0 fun3 insightful - 1 fun -  (0 children)

I might get interested if Times of India is reporting it. Daily Mail reporting on somewhere far away from their readers? Zero credibility.

Small white pill: Young Americans are losing faith in American democracy by casparvoneverec in debatealtright

[–]Alan_Crowe 1 insightful - 1 fun1 insightful - 0 fun2 insightful - 1 fun -  (0 children)

I checked on Amazon.com and it is ranked 577,190 in books. Sales haven't caught fire yet.

Young man with clean bill of health left 'hours from death' in hospital after catching Covid by jet199 in NotTheOnion

[–]Alan_Crowe 5 insightful - 1 fun5 insightful - 0 fun6 insightful - 1 fun -  (0 children)

That is a frightening story. I really must try harder to lose weight.

"I think it (Roe v. Wade) went too far. I don't think that a woman has the sole right to say what should happen to her body." -- Joe Biden by Chipit in quotes

[–]Alan_Crowe 4 insightful - 2 fun4 insightful - 1 fun5 insightful - 2 fun -  (0 children)

Article 5 is subtle. Consider an issue that is controversial, but equally so in every state. 51% for 49% against in all 50 states. It sails through the ratification process without difficulty. Contrast that is an issue that is geographically divisive. Approved in some states, rejected in others. An amendment on such a topic could be blocked by 25% of the states. If those are low population states, it could be blocked by well under 25% of the population. I think that is genius. Amendments that don't set state against state are easy. Amendments that do set state against state are hard. Just what you need to hold the country together.

should certain states be allowed to make murder legal?

To the extent that the case is obvious, the State and Federal levels should agree. No need for federalization. But then we get to tricky edge cases. Was it murder or self-defense? Was it murder or just a citizens arrest gone wrong? Federalization looks really bad here. It puts an end to the business of saying: that other state does it better, we should copy. Notice what happens when a federal reform goes bad. People just say: times changed, it wasn't that the reform made things worse. You cannot cheat like that when a state level reform goes bad, because other states don't suffer from "times change".

I don't even have a title for this. by Tarrock in MeanwhileOnReddit

[–]Alan_Crowe 1 insightful - 1 fun1 insightful - 0 fun2 insightful - 1 fun -  (0 children)

Let me see if I understand this. The capitalists who own Reddit think that this powerful cartoon is genuinely dangerous. They instruct the mods to remove it. The mods cannot say "We banned this for fear that it might undermine Capitalism." so they come up with a truly astonishing cope and lick boot.

Wait, this is Clown World. I'm getting a horrible feeling that the ban might be organic and sincere :-(

Failing NYT: Cats are Spreading Disinformation by Tarrock in politics

[–]Alan_Crowe 2 insightful - 1 fun2 insightful - 0 fun3 insightful - 1 fun -  (0 children)

Andrew Anglin crisply and correctly summarizes the thesis of the New York Times article

Disinformers are luring people in with cat memes and then disinforming them.

I wish all journalism was that skillful at getting to the point.

"I think it (Roe v. Wade) went too far. I don't think that a woman has the sole right to say what should happen to her body." -- Joe Biden by Chipit in quotes

[–]Alan_Crowe 5 insightful - 3 fun5 insightful - 2 fun6 insightful - 3 fun -  (0 children)

Roe versus Wade was controversial for two reasons.

First it made abortion a Federal issue when it had previously been a local issue, with different laws in different states.

Second it de facto made the Supreme Court into an indirectly elected legislature, like the Senate was before the 17th Amendment. Nobody bothers with Article 5 any more, the focus is on getting the right people onto the Supreme Court.

Al Gore Warns Polar Ice May Be Gone in Five Years by trident765 in ClimateSkeptics

[–]Alan_Crowe 1 insightful - 1 fun1 insightful - 0 fun2 insightful - 1 fun -  (0 children)

When I was young I had vague notions of where the equator was. I half knew it ran through Brazil and the Congo, half knew it ran through the Sahara - burning hot desert, right? Has to be on the equator.

Later I learned about the importance of the latent heat of condensation. The rain forests on the equator are hot and steamy places. Water vapor rises and cools. The heat given off as clouds form keeps the temperature up and it rises more. Then it spreads North and South.

It really moves, going over the Sahara, without falling as rain. That is why the desert is there, North of the Equator. Eventually the rain falls on Ireland and other places. The details of the exact latitude are tricky. The circulation takes the heat away from the equator, sending it North and South.

The Earth isn't radiating much heat from the poles; they are too cold. If the heat from the equator really gets to the poles, the Earth will radiate more heat from the poles, helping with the heat balance and mitigating gobal warming.

Notice what we actually worry about. Maybe the hot places on the equator , such as Congo and Brazil, will get too hot for life, reducing the available land area of the Earth. If the heat goes up and spreads out, it is much less of a problem. If Canada gets warmer, that increases the available land area.

The melting ice caps story is rather ambiguous. Is it telling simple telling us that global warming is real and we need to panic? Is it telling us a more complicated story: global warming is real, but the heat is spreading away from the equator and not creating a hot spot too hot for life?

It has always been a bit odd to emphasize the warming of parts of the world that are too cold for human habitation. We care most about temperatures on the equator and they don't get talked about.

The whole narrative is a bit weird. We are encouraged to worry about the bit that doesn't matter, which then fails to happen.

Should Men and Women Race the Same Distance? by WildApples in GenderCritical

[–]Alan_Crowe 1 insightful - 1 fun1 insightful - 0 fun2 insightful - 1 fun -  (0 children)

Women should be in charge of women's sports and pick the distances that women run to make the sport fun for women.

Men should be in charge of men's sports and pick the distances that men run to make the sport fun for men.

They shouldn't compare distances between women's sports and men's sports. That can only cause confusion, envy, and resentment. Which makes sport less fun, completely missing the point.

Are You Worried About AI? by hennaojichan in whatever

[–]Alan_Crowe 2 insightful - 2 fun2 insightful - 1 fun3 insightful - 2 fun -  (0 children)

Some people worry that researchers may create an artificial intelligence that is genuinely intelligent. They worry that, cleverer than humans, it will be able to manipulate and scheme and get to do whatever it wants to. And what exactly will that be? Scary!

I have a different concern. Researchers think that they are working on "artificial intelligence". Actually they are working on "artificial looks intelligent to humans". We are going to end up with computer programs that are a kind of super-politician. They look really clever to normies but are actually stupid. Then we put them in charge because they understand what makes a human think a computer is intelligent. Then things go to shit because that is the only thing that they understand.

a question for people that like to read books a lot. by humancorpse in whatever

[–]Alan_Crowe 3 insightful - 3 fun3 insightful - 2 fun4 insightful - 3 fun -  (0 children)

In a speech made in 1896 by Lord Rosebery, late Prime Minister of England, there is an amusing reference to fagging: “It is a long time since you and I, Mr. Chairman” (Mr. Acland, Minister of Education), “first met. I have always been a little under your presidence, because I began as your fag at Eton, and I little thought, when I poached your eggs and made your tea, that we were destined to meet under these very dissimilar circumstances.”.


Marble Machine X - A Lesson in Dumb Design (37:37) ~ Wintergatan by JasonCarswell in Organizing

[–]Alan_Crowe 2 insightful - 2 fun2 insightful - 1 fun3 insightful - 2 fun -  (0 children)

I've only watch up to 4'32" but it is already a "must watch" because of Elon Musk talking about the design process. Great stuff.

The View reveals how badly the left has lost the gun control argument. "Hostin was searching for some way of avoiding attacking Blacks for owning guns and cast the trend as a reaction to White racism." by Chipit in OpinionPieces

[–]Alan_Crowe 1 insightful - 1 fun1 insightful - 0 fun2 insightful - 1 fun -  (0 children)

Gun control won't be over until Jews globally take the Isreali line and buy guns for self defence from Muslims.

Toll Paid by Tarrock in wholesome

[–]Alan_Crowe 3 insightful - 3 fun3 insightful - 2 fun4 insightful - 3 fun -  (0 children)

The BBC is applying an interesting spin, with the emphasis on police protection for MP's. The basic idea is that MP's vote for multiculturalism. Later, when multiculturalism turns stabby, things change. The MP's get special protection and the proles are left to bleed.

AstraZeneca takes $6m hit after 'faking conferences' to bribe doctors. (2016) by HibikiBlack in conspiracy

[–]Alan_Crowe 1 insightful - 1 fun1 insightful - 0 fun2 insightful - 1 fun -  (0 children)

I thought this was going to be about "fake conferences" in the sense of a real conference, somewhere nice, say Hawaii, and the Doctors are paid to attend, but nudge and wink they just go surfing, and don't attend the conference.

Reading the article, the conference doesn't exist at, and the Doctor gets paid to speak at it anyway, with the "Speaking Fee" explaining away why the money turned up in the Doctor's bank account.

It is a small difference. If you are paying a lot of money for a painting by Hunter Biden, he doesn't actually have to paint it, because you don't really want it, but if he does, it improves the appearance of the transaction.

Opinion thread: When and how will America collapse? by TheJamesRocket in debatealtright

[–]Alan_Crowe 2 insightful - 1 fun2 insightful - 0 fun3 insightful - 1 fun -  (0 children)

The USA followed the trajectory of the Qing Dynasty. The Qing were already corrupt by 1812, leading to the century of humiliation, but they didn't collapse until 1912. The time scale for rampant corruption to take down a Great Power is about a hundred years. The USA followed this closely, with the stolen election of 2020 opening the era of "ten per cent for the big guy" and final collapse in 2120.

I'm tired of broken transgenders by [deleted] in Rant

[–]Alan_Crowe 4 insightful - 3 fun4 insightful - 2 fun5 insightful - 3 fun -  (0 children)

I think that your last line is what GenderCritical folk preach. Get rid of gender stereotypes. Let people be gender non-conforming. Then some-one in a man's body can be who they really are, whoever that really is; no questions asked.

I'm tired of broken transgenders by [deleted] in Rant

[–]Alan_Crowe 5 insightful - 5 fun5 insightful - 4 fun6 insightful - 5 fun -  (0 children)

There are two kinds of science fiction story with a sex change MacGuffin.

One story is set in the far future, with nano-technology, or transporter technology. Scotty energizes the transporter and you get scanned into the pattern buffer. Dr McCoy does some computational medicine on your bits in the computer, changing you from male to female. Finally you get beamed to your destination as a real woman with two X-chromosomes.

A different story has some kind of disaster. Perhaps a fault in the transporter. You are beamed down to the planet. When you left the Enterprise you were a woman, but when you arrive you are a man; a woman trapped in a man's body. Another kind of disaster to get the story started is that you die. No biggy, you just get a new body printed out and imprinted with your mind, restored from a back-up. Oh no! Although you are a woman, only a man's body is available. You take it anyway; it is better than staying dead.

Modern transgenderism seems to treat the first kind of story are real already. Transgenders seek to enjoy a technological transformation. This seems unwise and ill judged. Perhaps you will be able to change your sex in 2321, but the technology isn't here yet.

The second kind of story is the kind that is relevant. Some kind of disaster. You are a woman trapped in a man's body. There is no escape. How do you make the best of it? Maybe the woman part of your life is over, you just have to adapt to being a man.

People can have gender dysphoria, but it is not 2321 yet. The only sane way to proceed is to picture yourself as the protagonist of the second kind of story. Does anybody even have to know about your personal disaster?

Straight men don't want to date men no matter what their makeup, haircut or clothes, get over it. by jet199 in SuperStraight

[–]Alan_Crowe 1 insightful - 2 fun1 insightful - 1 fun2 insightful - 2 fun -  (0 children)

Men usually date the hsts

hsts ?

Straight men don't want to date men no matter what their makeup, haircut or clothes, get over it. by jet199 in SuperStraight

[–]Alan_Crowe 2 insightful - 2 fun2 insightful - 1 fun3 insightful - 2 fun -  (0 children)

One thing that I learned from reading r/GenderCritical before Reddit banned it, was that TERFs don't want transwomen in women-only spaces because transwomen come across as psychologically male. The meaning of "psychologically male" was only partly spelled out, but seemed to be a mixture of dominance, entitlement, combativeness, and competitiveness. Or maybe it was about not "getting" the consensus seeking and hug-boxing that women want in a women-only space.

Being a bit slow, it has taken me a year to come up with the obvious follow up question. What happens when a straight man dates a transwomen? Do they find the psychology is "off"; the interaction feels man-to-man not man-to-women, and very off-putting on a date?

If there is a Marek's disease scenario due to the leaky vaccine being promoted, that will mean every human will need a shot or will die by magnora7 in whatever

[–]Alan_Crowe 4 insightful - 2 fun4 insightful - 1 fun5 insightful - 2 fun -  (0 children)

It is worrying even if we get away with leaky vaccines this time around.

We need to be talking about the risk posed by leaky vaccines. The way things are going, we will ignore the problem for COVID, and ignore the problem for the next virus, and keep on being complacent until the Marek's disease thing actually happens. Not a good plan.

Ranked-Choice Won't Fix Our Electoral System – Amelia May Johnson by [deleted] in politics

[–]Alan_Crowe 2 insightful - 1 fun2 insightful - 0 fun3 insightful - 1 fun -  (0 children)

I agree that both RCV and Approval Voting solve the spoiler problem. Either would be an improvement over FPTP.

The UK had a referendum on voting reform. It offered the voters a two way choice: retain FPTP, change to RCV (in the UK it was called Alternative Vote. I think the issue is that semi-proportional elections, done with Ranked Choice in multi-member constituencies, is also popular in the UK. Consequently many people understand Ranked Choice voting as naming the complicated system that achieves a degree of proportionality with the voter ranking candidates).

In the UK referendum, many people refused to vote for Alternative-Vote/RCV because it wasn't their favourite. Then they ended up with FPTP, which they like even less. I, err, mumble mumble, cries in beer, diluting it down to 1% alcohol.

Due to that history, I'm very sensitive to the title "Ranked-Choice Won’t Fix Our Electoral System". Maybe RCV won't fix it, for an idealized notion of fix, but we should have voted for it anyway, to get an improvement over FPTP.

Thinking about Approval Voting versus RCV, I think that RCV is more likely to disrupt the party system. Imagine the Republicans are splitting into RINO and MAGA. Or maybe the Democrats are splitting into Bernie and Swamp. The abstract point about voting systems is best discussed with less emotionally charged party names. Consider BigParty versus LargeParty and the BigParty splits in BigOldParty and BigNewParty.

Under FPTP we might see a vote split 40% LargeParty 35% BigOldParty 25% BigNewParty. LargeParty wins! The splitists who broke away to found BigNewParty are punished by the system. That is how FPTP holds the two big parties together.

Under Approval Voting, all BigParty voters approve of both BigOldParty and BigNewParty, because they are afraid of the vote split. So the results are 40% LargeParty, 60% BigOldPary, 60% BigNewParty. Well, that solves the spoiler effect, but at a price. Voters are still having to vote tactically. And old time BigParty members who loyally vote for both factions may feel had. Whether the Old candidate gets in, or whether the New candidate gets in, is decided by some voters living dangerously and only approving one of the two Big party candidates. That is rather artificial.

Under RCV, voters can vote more straight forwardly. An old time BigParty member gets to chose whether to put the BigOldParty first, or whether to put the BigNewParty first. Counting the votes, we see the voters choosing between Old and New directly. I see that directness giving moral support to insurgents and encouraging them to start BigNewParty and disrupt the two party system.

Ranked-Choice Won't Fix Our Electoral System – Amelia May Johnson by [deleted] in politics

[–]Alan_Crowe 2 insightful - 1 fun2 insightful - 0 fun3 insightful - 1 fun -  (0 children)

The analysis in the article assumes that the same old parties run as usual

Let’s say there are four candidates: a Republican, a Democrat, a Libertarian, and a Green. In the first round, they get 30%, 29%, 20%, and 21% respectively. That looks great on paper, but none of them got a majority, so the Libertarian is eliminated.

The advantage that I see in Ranked-Choice is that it the current duopoly under FPTP is enforced by an actual mechanism and the Ranked-Choice breaks the enforcement mechanism.

Suppose that the BigParty and the LargeParty both agree on X. What are voters who want Y to do? They could form the SmallParty, which stands for Y not X and various other policies. Under FPTP, there is a mechanism enforcing party discipline. No BigParty voter is willing to switch to SmallParty over Y because that splits the BigParty vote and lets LargeParty win. Similarly No LargeParty voter is willing to switch to SmallParty over Y because that splits the LargeParty vote and lets BigParty win.

Ranked-Choice breaks that enforcement mechanism. Maverick BigParty voters can vote 1.SmallParty 2.BigParty 3.LargeParty. Meanwhile, iconoclast LargeParty voters can vote 1.SmallParty 2.LargeParty 3.BigParty. If the mavericks and the iconoclasts are a small part of the electorate, not much changes. The SmallParty still comes last, and drops out. Then their votes get swapped to the voters' second choices and the election proceeds as before. Same old same old. But notice: no-one got "punished" for voting third party.

Things have actually changed. Popular support of Y becomes visible. The SmallParty isn't immediately discouraged and can keep running. It can benefit from a loose coalition of BigParty voters who want Y and LargeParty voters who want Y. In later elections it might bring in enough votes to knock one of the mainstream parties into third place. Or a mainstream party might try to avoid that by switching from X to Y. The system is forced to listen to voters a little more.

The Leftist Commune by Tarrock in politics

[–]Alan_Crowe 2 insightful - 2 fun2 insightful - 1 fun3 insightful - 2 fun -  (0 children)

I've always thought that the Russian revolution of 1917 was a failure. All those people getting sent to the Gulag, or being taken out and shot. Clear signs of failure, I don't have to inquire further. I don't have to copy Sakichi Toyoda and ask "why?" five times.

But I've been gifted the answer to the first why. Why have people taken out and shot? Because there is a kind of gentle uselessness which is irredeemable. Tolerate it and get bled white. Try to correct it and be dragged down by it.

Second why: why are people like that? The congealing of gentle uselessness into entitlement is a mystery to me :-(

Third why: actually I'm still stuck on the second why.

Less masculine men who are uncomfortable with their absence of manly qualities are on average more likely to commit physical assault, inflict injuries on others, and drive drunk (I was wondering what some radfem allies think of this). by SexualityCritical in GenderCriticalGuys

[–]Alan_Crowe 3 insightful - 1 fun3 insightful - 0 fun4 insightful - 1 fun -  (0 children)

They therefore analysed the responses of 600 US men in 2012 to an online survey about their perceptions of male gender and how their own self-image fitted in with this, and risky behaviours.

Did 4chan hear about the online survey? How did they protect the quality of their data?

There was no association between discrepancy stress and average daily use of alcohol or drugs, but men who felt less masculine, and who weren't worried about it were the least likely to report violence or driving while under the influence.

Sounds like data dredging. How many components go to make up "discrepancy stress"? How many combinations did they test in order to obtain a statistically significant result.

I doubt this will replicate.

Why Does No One Ever Talk About Sweden Anymore? by cottoneyejoe in politics

[–]Alan_Crowe 2 insightful - 1 fun2 insightful - 0 fun3 insightful - 1 fun -  (0 children)

Stupid me. I've read the article now, and it turns out that the frail, old Swedes have not been dodging the care-home, dementia-unit, nursing-home hell-march :-(

Why Does No One Ever Talk About Sweden Anymore? by cottoneyejoe in politics

[–]Alan_Crowe 2 insightful - 1 fun2 insightful - 0 fun3 insightful - 1 fun -  (0 children)

How old are you? You might be romanticizing being old and frail. My priority for health care is to avoid following my parents down the care-home, dementia-unit, nursing-home route. I'm happy to roll for early escape!

"The conscious manipulation of the opinion of the masses is an important element in democratic society. Those who manipulate this constitute an invisible government, which is the true ruling power of our country". -Edward Bernays. by HibikiBlack in conspiracy

[–]Alan_Crowe 1 insightful - 1 fun1 insightful - 0 fun2 insightful - 1 fun -  (0 children)

Are people really OK with the government manipulating them with good intentions? The way people talk about democracy, it is good because the people are actually the ones taking the decisions. Democracy is a sham because Bernays' invisible government actually take the decisions and then implement them by manipulating the people into voting for them. But I've never heard any-one praise the sham, on the grounds that the invisible government have good intentions.

Judith Butler: ‘We need to rethink the category of woman to centre men' by Chunkeeguy in GenderCritical

[–]Alan_Crowe 3 insightful - 1 fun3 insightful - 0 fun4 insightful - 1 fun -  (0 children)

She starts off with soft bromides

The category of woman can and does change, and we need it to be that way.

and we nod along, because we know what she means. After menopause women turn invisible. We want to "change" the category of women to "incude" them. And when we oppose violence against women, we sometimes need to remind men that opposing violence against women includes protecting girls from their step-fathers; which stretches "women" to include "girls".

Then Butler hits us with

So we should not be surprised or opposed when the category of women expands to include cricket bats.

Whoops! I've misquoted her; but with a purpose. Sometimes we play games with language. We might say "the category of women includes cricket bats." and we are making a Dadaist joke. Probably with a didactic purpose. We want to jolt people awake. We want to make them realize that you cannot add just anything to the category of woman.

What Butler actually wrote was

So we should not be surprised or opposed when the category of women expands to include trans women.

She wants to add men to the category of women. Now I conceded earlier that one might want to make adjustments at the edge of the category woman, but the problem with the category of women is not that it excludes men; excluding men is the point! What next? Is seven to be the new even number?

Notice the pattern. She talks abstractly about the category women, without common sense examples, then hits us with an absurd expansion of the category. In psychiatry, that pattern, is called overinclusion and is an aspect of Formal Thought Disorder.

See http://frontierpsychiatrist.co.uk/formal-thought-disorder/

Overinclusion refers to a widening of the boundaries of concepts such that things are grouped together that are not often closely connected.

Nobel Prize Winner Prof. Luc Montagnier (88): "The Covid Vaccine is Creating the Variants" by Inuma in WayOfTheBern

[–]Alan_Crowe 2 insightful - 1 fun2 insightful - 0 fun3 insightful - 1 fun -  (0 children)

The clip doesn't mention that it is leaky vaccines that cause the problem. A traditional vaccine, meeting traditional standards of complete immunity is fine.

The mRNA vaccines only immunize against the spike protein. That might have worked, but we know from it experience that that is not enough. Which would have been a good time to ban the mRNA vaccines as a danger to public health.